Winchester vs. Lexington
The turf had a big hand in both games this week. The Winchester boys traveled to Lexington to face their opponents on an artificial turf field that appears to have reached the end of its lifespan.
With the ball traveling at an unaccustomedly fast speed, our boys seemed a step too slow to the ball. And, instead of a crisp passing game, balls were shanking out of bounds left and right.
Indeed, the start to the game was very slow, with much time spent chasing after balls that were hit well outside the pitch. The entire first half was one of adjustment for Winchester, and Lexington opened the scoring on a defensive breakdown that left Winchester’s goalkeeper totally exposed.
Winchester seemed to adjust to the quicker speed of play in the second half, but could not put get the ball into the net. With the sun setting over the field, Lexington’s home-field advantage told the story on the day, with the whistle blowing the game dead at a score of Lexington 1, Winchester 0.
Winchester vs. Arlington
Arlington came to Winchester on a damp and chilly Saturday morning for a game rescheduled from 2 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Fans trickled in slowly during the first half (given the less than ideal weather conditions), to wipe down the wet stands, settle in under blankets and cheer on their boys. The grass was wet too, and more than a few players lost their balance on the cold slippery turf.
The game was scoreless after the first half, although the whistle was blown rather early. Most spectators credited the early whistle to a controversy surrounding Charlie Cacciola’s knee brace, which had sliced an opponents leg open “like a coconut” according to one official. He was allowed on the pitch again only after the brace was well padded.
A joyless second half ensued, with Arlington maintaining the upper hand possession-wise, and Winchester having great difficulty stringing more than a few passes together.
With only a few well-organized tries at the goal, the whistle blew with a disappointed crowd having witnessed a scoreless tie – or so they thought.
To the surprise of many, Winchester had actually won the game. The refs had started the game 10 minutes early, during which time Charlie Cacciola scored an early goal on a cross from Mark Calnan.
Mostly unwitnessed, but still much appreciated, the goal gave Winchester an impressive 7 wins on the season.